Hana Amer, Media and Events Officer, Grantham Institute

Hana Amer is a skilled costume designer who incorporates sustainable techniques into traditional dressmaking. Alongside her role at the Grantham Institute, she organises workshops on sustainable fashion, including for the Great Exhibition Road Festival, and offers consulting to fashion startups.

Hana is a University of the Arts London (UAL) Alumni Ambassador and a UAL Sustainability Ambassador, having studied Costume for Performance at the UAL London College of Fashion. She also runs her own sustainable eveningwear brand, Couca Couture.

Hana Amer Questions

What links your Grantham Institute role with your passion for fashion?

Through my two passions, I aim to raise awareness about environmental issues and sustainable practices and reach out to experts in various fields. After working in fashion, I was eager to be surrounded by scientists and innovators. I knew I had a lot to learn from them, and that they could also learn from me. Not every artist has that opportunity, and I hope to be a bridge between both worlds.

What do your sustainable fashion workshops involve?

The interactive workshops are for anyone interested in making more sustainable choices when it comes to clothing and accessories. For the Great Exhibition Road Festival, I brought in the V&A Dundee, University of the Arts London, and several startups to cover the environmental impact of the fashion industry, how to identify sustainable fashion brands and products, and demonstrated sustainable fashion techniques, such as upcycling and mending.

How can fashion play a part in the fight against climate change?

As clothing is one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions and waste, people in the industry have a crucial role to play in combatting climate change by choosing eco-friendly materials and implementing circular production processes. Designers can also influence more sustainable consumption habits and ethical labour practices by pricing garments to reflect their correct value.

What’s next for you and your work?

After planning this year’s Grantham Institute Annual Lecture by legendary musician, producer, visual artist, and activist Brian Eno, it became evident to me that bridging the gap between science and other sectors is necessary to address the urgency of the climate crisis. I’ve worked on events on climate litigation and climate finance this year and I hope to do more and to continue to make a positive contribution to a more sustainable future for the fashion industry.

Mili Fomicov, Researcher, Centre for Climate Finance and Investment

As an academic researcher and industry insider, Mili Fomicov offers a dual perspective on how to bring transparency to climate investing. Prior to joining Imperial, she held senior positions managing asset strategies and equities at BlackRock, J.P. Morgan, Barclays and AllianceBernstein. She has an MBA in Finance, Economics, Econometrics and Statistics from the University of Chicago and is on the Spark Change Advisory Board and works with Baringa Partners.

READ MORE: Profile: Mili Fomicov on why every business should care about climate change – and why they need to act now

Mili Fomicov

What are the benefits of working across academia and finance?

It is important to focus on how asset managers and financial institutions can help accelerate the transition to a lower carbon economy, given the amount of capital they control. Sometimes the two worlds operate independently; combining my academic work with my private sector career allows me to help develop academic frameworks that could concretely help financial institutions improve their investment and financing practices and decisions related to climate change.

What are you currently working on?

A series of reports with the International Energy Agency. Our joint aim is to bring more transparency and provide more data that will help financial institutions and policy makers play a role in the energy transition. Moving to a cleaner and more resilient electricity system will require the mobilisation of capital for renewables, as well as enabling infrastructure and system flexibility. We want to demonstrate that investing in renewables is beneficial from a financial perspective.

What are the challenges in engaging businesses with climate change?

There is not enough accountability or top-down regulation to include climate change considerations into the core mandate of business operations. There is also a great deal of uncertainty around the impact of climate change in the short term. Most business decisions are focused on the short- and medium-term horizons, and some are also constrained by things like funding, which can be a challenge.

What are your top priorities?

I will continue to focus on the power sector and unlocking capital for emerging market clean energy financing. I also plan to expand on my transition finance work, which could help asset managers and other financial institutions use their investment portfolios and balance sheets to accelerate the energy transition globally.